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MSM conspiracy theories about Devin Nunes are increasingly unhinged

Liberty Unyielding - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 9:15pm
Mollie Hemingway, Federalist

Mayor of Mass. city boycotts Sam Adams after cofounder thanked Trump for tax cuts

Liberty Unyielding - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 5:08pm
This blog is not in the habit of doing product endorsements, but I am urging readers to rush right out and buy a sixpack or two of Samuel Adams beer. Even if you don't drink, buy a sixpack.

The other shoe drops: 13-year-old announces his candidacy for governor of Vermont

Liberty Unyielding - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 2:33pm
There are no legal limits on the age (minimum or maximum) of gubernatorial candidates in the Green Mountain State

Do Voters Reward Pro-Market Politicians?

Center for Freedom and Prosperity (CF&P) - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 12:45pm

A few days ago, I shared some academic research investigating whether economic crises lead to more liberalization (Naomi Klein’s hypothesis) or more statism (Robert Higgs’ hypothesis).

Given the dismal long-run outlook for the United States and most other developed nations, this is not just a theoretical issue.

Well, the good news is that the evidence shows that economic turmoil appears to be associated with pro-market reforms. At least with regard to regulatory policy.

Today, I’m going to share more good news. We now have some empirical research from two Danish economists showing that voters like good policy.

Here’s what Niclas Berggren and Christian Bjørnskov wanted to ascertain in their research

Since the early 1980s a wave of liberalizing reforms has swept over the world. While the stated motivation for these reforms has usually been to increase economic efficiency, some critics have instead inferred ulterior motives…with the claim that many of the reforms have been undertaken during different crises so as to bypass potential opponents, suggests that people will dislike the reforms and even be less satisfied with democracy as such. We test this hypothesis empirically, using panel data from 30 European countries in the period 1993–2015. The dependent variable is the average satisfaction with democracy, while the reform measures are constructed as distinct changes in four policy areas: government size, the rule of law, openness and regulation. …We moreover include a set of control variables, capturing economic circumstances, political institutions and features of politics.

In other words, we’ve seen considerable liberalization over the past 20-plus years. Were voters happy or unhappy as a result?

Here’s a way of visualizing what they investigated.

For what it’s worth, I’ve argued that Reagan showed good policy is good politics.

And the good news is that this research reaches a similar conclusion. Here are their main results.

Our results indicate that while reforms of government size are not robustly related to satisfaction with democracy, reforms of the other three kinds are – and in a way that runs counter to the anti-liberalization claims. Reforms that reduce economic freedom are generally related to satisfaction with democracy in a negative way, while reforms that increase economic freedom are positively associated with satisfaction with democracy. Voters also react more negatively to left-wing governments introducing reforms that de-liberalize. …the hypothesis of a general negative reaction towards liberalizing reforms taking the form of reduced satisfaction with democracy does not stand up to empirical scrutiny, at least not in our European sample.

Wonky readers may want to spend some time with this table, which shows the results of the statistical analysis

I’ll close with a couple of specific observations from the research, all of which deal with whether some reforms are more popular than others.

The good news is that voters are most satisfied when there’s less protectionism.

It turns out that the most immediately important type of reform here is liberalizations that increase market openness, such as reductions in protectionism and removal of obstacles to capital movements.

(Methinks the folks in the White House may want to reconsider their protectionist policies. It seems people understand that trade wars cause blowback.)

The bad news is that voters don’t seem to get excited about reforms to restrain government spending, whereas other types of pro-market reforms are popular.

Reforms that involve government size are rarely statistically significant; reforms that involve the other three reform areas typically are.

Though voters sometimes aren’t happy when government gets bigger, so I guess that’s partial good news.

Crises only seem to matter when government size increases, and then they make the effect on satisfaction with democracy much more negative.

Perhaps this is evidence that people recognize Keynesian “stimulus” schemes aren’t a good idea? I hope that’s the right interpretation. Heck, maybe this is yet another reason to stop sending tax dollars to subsidize the OECD.

Where in the world is A.F. Branco?

Liberty Unyielding - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 12:36pm
Inquiring minds want to know. It’s been less than a week since, LU resident cartoonist A.F. Branco’s last oeuvre went live, but the cards and letters have been rolling in, expressing concern and some consternation about his whereabouts. Some have asked solicitously whether he is ill, while others have wondered (many with an audible gasp) […]

HuffPo writer slams Vox for reporting honestly that Antifa attacked police, journalists

Liberty Unyielding - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 11:20am
But by that same general line of reasoning, the police are above reproach. They sometimes dispatch justice in the form of violence, but it is in the line of duty.

Peter Strzok increases his GoFundMe fundraising goal by $200K

Liberty Unyielding - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 9:49am
The goal of the GoFundMe fundraiser was increased to $350,000 Tuesday morning. As of this writing, nearly $240,000 has been donated.

Wait till you hear the Left’s new euphemism for ‘Antifa’

Liberty Unyielding - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 8:34am
The Left bristles at the notion they aren't honest brokers of the news. Yet public trust in the media is at an all-time low. If papers like The Washington Post and networks like CNN want to restore that confidence, as they claim they do, maybe the answer is not to denigrate stories from the Right but to own up to their own hyper-partisanship.

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